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Managing Special Occasions after Weight Loss Surgery

Managing Special Occasions after Weight Loss Surgery

After weight loss surgery, each day brings about its own set of eating choice challenges. Every time you turn the corner there is another fast food restaurant or bakery loaded with its own temptations, and you do what you can to stand strong and stick to your post-bariatric diet plan. Of course, special occasions make managing your food choices just a tad more complicated. These events pop up all throughout the year. Birthdays, holidays, graduations and weddings—each bring with it a collection of buffet lines, ice cream and cake.

Weight loss surgery helps to reduce your appetite and how much you can comfortably eat at one time, but controlling your cravings for the treats that are a part of special occasions will take some additional management.

The Trouble with Overeating

Special occasions are the favorite excuse for over indulgence. “They only come once a year”. “They are such a rare opportunity”. “You eat healthy every other day!” The trouble with these excuses is that they come all too often. If you are looking for a reason to indulge, a special occasion can pop up on any given day of the week.

Following weight loss surgery, indulgences like these can be problematic. Your Lap Band limits how much food will comfortably fit in your stomach pouch. If you eat more than a recommended portion of several ounces of food at a time, you will experience nausea, vomiting and discomfort.

The best thing you can do to manage special occasions is to reframe how you think about celebrating those events. Here are a few strategies to help you with this:

  • Focus on family: (and friends!) When you get to an event, don’t focus on what is on the table, think about who is at the table with you. Spend more time chatting and less time chewing.
  • Drink water: Many special occasions include alcohol. The trouble is that alcohol is a calorie dense drink, and when you drink you are more likely to overeat. Stick with water and remember to take small sips.
  • Stay out of the kitchen: Position yourself away from the food when you attend an event. This means staying out of the kitchen, away from the buffet and across the room from the snack bowl.

Special occasions are just as special without your focus being on the food. If you do choose to eat out, keep your dietary restrictions in mind and plan ahead. Managing your portion sizes and cravings in situations like these can help you stay confident and on track towards meeting your weight loss goals.


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